Join your friends and neighbors in reading Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, Ramona. Then join us for some very special events celebrating this classic American book.
Ramona: A Documentary Film & Conversation
Join us for a special ONE BOOK STEAMBOAT screening of the documentary film Ramona: A Story of Protest and Passion followed by a Skype conversation with Helen Hunt Jackson scholar Kate Phillips.
About the film
Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1884 novel, Ramona, crystallized opinion about the whites’ maltreatment of Indians (much as Uncle Tom’s Cabin had done for slavery). This documentary film uses feature film clips to recap the plot and historical sources and sites in order to explain both the immense popularity of the book and its transformation into a mythic symbol of whites and Indians in the West.
Run time: 28 min.
About the speaker
Kate Phillips is the author of the critically acclaimed biography Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life. Phillips grew up in Claremont, in Southern California, and first became interested in Helen Hunt Jackson because her maternal grandmother loved the novel Ramona. She also admired Jackson's work on behalf of Native American rights and attended the Ramona Pageant in Hemet, California, with her family on multiple occasions. After graduating from Dartmouth in English, Phillips spent a year in China, an experience she recently wrote about in The Atlantic. She also wrote and published a novel, White Rabbit, based on her maternal grandmother and step-grandfather. While earning a PhD from Harvard in American Studies, Phillips wrote her dissertation on Helen Hunt Jackson, which eventually became her gripping biography filled with fascinating glimpses of how social context both shaped and inspired Jackson's thinking, highlighting the inextricable presence of gender, race, and class in American literary history and culture and opening a new window onto the nineteenth century. Phillips is currently in the late stages of writing a new novel, Santa Clara, and also a memoir concerning her youth. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, two sons, and dog Lucky.